Internet addiction among graduates of general secondary schools in Cracow and its correlation with body mass index and other health problems (2015)

Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2015 Jul 28;39(229):31-36.

[Article in Polish]

Średniawa A1, Jarczewska DŁ2, Żabicka K1, Ulman M1, Pilarska A1, Tomasik T2, Windak A2.


Studies find increasing trend among children, adolescents and young adults to spend excessive amounts of time surfing in the Internet. Another serious problem is the increasing proportion of young people who are overweight and obese. There are only few papers trying to correlate these two trends.


The aims of the study were as follows: identification the extent of Internet addiction among students of Krakow’s secondary schools and its correlation with BMI and other health problems.


Cross-sectional study among 200 pupils of randomly selected Krakow’s high schools was conducted. Internet addiction was evaluated by using the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) by Kimberly Young. Each participant filled in an authors’ questionnaire about his/her basic social and medical information. For each participant BMI was calculated.


It was found that 7% of study group was addicted to the Internet (above 49 points in the IAT questionnaire). Internet addicts had higher BMI. The study revealed also several statistically significant relationships between the level of Internet addiction and the time spent online, BMI, back pain, headache.


There is a modest percentage of people addicted to the Internet in the population of high school graduates, but these people often complain of back pain and headaches. BMI is higher among addicted youths. The time spent by high school graduates on online activity is far beyond the time devoted to physical activity.